If this is your first time visiting MomsTeam Institute of Youth Sports Safety, welcome!
If you are one of the millions of people around the world who have visited our sites over the past sixteen years, and have come to rely on us for the comprehensive, objective, well-researched, and up-to-date information you need to help protect the health and safety of sports-active children, welcome back!
The past fifteen months have been an exciting time for the Institute.
In August 2014, we began working with a group of outstanding athletic trainers in six states around the country to begin pilot testing of our new SmartTeams™ program, which, when it is launched next year, will provide youth sports programs with a set of comprehensive, sport- and issue-specific, and easy-to-understand youth sports health and safety "best practice" standards of care templates and checklists to assist them, and the parents and athletes they serve, in making informed decisions about safety, and provide clarity on the steps that need to be taken to safeguard children involved in sport.
In September 2014, the Institute held its inaugural sports safety summit, SmartTeams Play Safe: Protecting the Health and Safety of the Whole Child in Youth Sports, at Harvard Medical School. A stellar roster of national experts gave 15-minute “TED-talk"-style presentations on how to improve youth sports safety by adopting best practices. The presentations were videotaped, and turned into a series of SmartTeams™ Talks. It was gratifying to be told by many of those in the audience that day that the summit was the best of its kind they had ever attended.
In January 2015, the Institute was honored with the selection by UNICEF UK as a "pioneer organization" to implement in the United States the International Safeguards for Children in Sport, which were formally launched at the Beyond Sport summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in October 2014. MomsTEAM is among a select group of 40 sport and development organizations from across the globe working with UNICEF UK to further develop, implement and test the safeguards by making them an integral component of the Institute’s SmartTeams™ program.
In July 2015, the NCAA and Department of Defense (DOD) announced the selection of MomsTeam Institute as one of only six recipients of a Mind Matters Challenge grant for our proposal to create a multi-media concussion education intervention designed to create an environment in which student-athletes are not penalized, ostracized, or criticized for honestly reporting their own concussion symptoms as well as those of teammates but are actually encouraged to do so. The Institute is now hard at work designing a prototype educational program to increase understanding of the critical importance of honest and early self-reporting by student-athletes of concussion symptoms in the diagnosis and management of concussions.
In August 2015, the Institute, with the support of our major sponsors, Hudl and i1 Biometrics and generous in-kind donations of equipment and services from a number of other companies, returned to Grand Prairie, Texas - which had been one of the six communities in which we ran pilot programs in 2014 - to work with 1,000 youth tackle and flag football and cheer participants, coaches, and parents on implementation of SmartTeams™/UNICEF best health and safety practices. From five days of filming, we are now releasing a group of new SmartTeams™ videos to educate sports parents on a wide range of health and safety topics, from abuse prevention to concussions, from hydration to the benefits of strength and conditioning programs for child athletes.
In November 2015, Sony Pictures selected the Institute as its charity of choice for its #ForThePlayers social media campaign for its movie, Concussion, starring Will Smith, which will be opening in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day, and is based on the true story of crusading neuropathologist Bennet Omalu, MD, who was the first to identify chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of former National Football League players. Sony is asking everyone who loves football to "Dance or Donate": either upload a video of their touchdown dance to YouTube or Instagram, or make a donation to MomsTeam Institute (or both!), and challenge their friends to do the same.
As the mother of triplet sons, one of whom was forced by a history of concussions to stop playing football before his junior year of high school, educating the public about concussions and the cumulative effect of subconcussive head impacts is something about which I care passionately and to which I have been committed for the past sixteen years.
But, as much as we celebrate these achievements, and as much as we are honored by being selected by UNICEF and Sony, and by the NCAA and Department of Defense, we know that there is so much more the Institute could be doing to make sports safer, and this is where you can help.
As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Institute relies on the generous support of private donations, corporate sponsors, and various grant funding agencies and foundations interested in sports safety education and awareness, to fund our operations. As you consider making end-of-the year gifts to charity, we ask that you please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to MomsTEAM Institute. Your gift will not only make it possible for the Institute to continue to help keep millions of kids safe playing sports, but enable us to exponentially expand our reach to help safeguard millions more. Know that a gift in any amount will be greatly appreciated, not just by all of us at MomsTeam Institute, but by all the sports-active children in this country, and around the world, and their parents, who we help.
Those making a gift of $10,000 or more will be recognized on our Sponsor page, and everyone who makes a contribution, no matter how small, will be recognized (with permission, of course) on a new donor page, which will be added in the weeks to come.
Thank you in advance, and best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season.
MomsTeam Institute, Inc.
ONLINE DONATIONS click here.